In our day-to-day lives we undergo sudden changes may it be physically, emotionally, socially or mentally. During these changes, there is always a certain feeling of fear or anxiety or discomfort. These sudden intense sensations are called panic attacks. They occur for no apparent reason but they certainly trigger some critical physical reactions. Panic attacks may indicate that a person has anxiety disorder.
In the ancient days, panic attacks were seen as a sign of nerves or stress. As of today, a panic attack or disorder is a medical condition that can be severe if no treated immediately. Most people get panic attacks at the peak age. The attacks are always unexpected and unprovoked. More so, they are often disabling. Panic attacks cause phobias that lead to one avoiding being in certain situations. They also lead to panic disorder and depression. A panic disorder is a condition on its own, but it is related to panic attack through its diagnosis. The panic disorders are characterized by unexpected panic attacks. They occur as a result of one being afraid of getting a panic attack hence raise the anxiety of a person. A person with panic disorders always tries to avoid certain situations or environment where they have had previous panic attacks. Panic disorders can have serious consequences on a person’s day-to-day life.
Panic attacks can occur once in a lifetime but many people experience different episodes in different ways. They can also be mistaken for heart attacks or some other dangerous medical conditions. Panic attacks are a serious condition but they do not threaten body organs in any way. Panic can be induced in a healthy person so long as the circumstances are right. Panic attacks in children can lead to severe consequences such as dropping of grades, dropping out of school, drug or other substance abuse, depression, thoughts of committing suicide and other actions that are not normal in a child’s life.
The causes of panic attacks are hard to identify. Some of them are inherited, as they are known to run in family members. Though inheritance is the most known source of panic attacks, other people can also experience the sensations of fear. Panic also can also be something that a person has learned to respond to certain actions or activities. Major life changes like graduating, a new workplace, and a new work related field, getting married or having a baby could also cause panic attacks. Others that are said to cause panic attacks could be the loss of a loved one or job loss.
There are also some medical conditions that cause panic attacks. Certain medical treatments that increase the brains activity can also cause panic attacks. The side effects of these medical treatments may also cause panic attacks. There are people who have a phobic reaction to certain objects or situations. This phobia causes panic attacks. Substances with caffeine and alcohol or drugs can also induce panic attacks. Withdrawal from alcohol and drugs causes side effects that could trigger a panic attack.
There are many symptoms of panic attacks. Most of the symptoms are mostly physical. They may include; shortness of breath, racing heart, chest pains, shaking, choking feeling, sweating, feeling that the surrounding environment is unreal, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, numbness, hot or cold flashes, fear or dying, loosing control, feeling like you are going crazy and many more (Burns D.D. 2007).
Panic attacks are treatable. If left untreated they can lead to panic disorders and other serious problems. Behavioral therapy is a natural way of dealing with panic attacks. It involves thinking patterns of a person and behavior that induce attacks. This therapy helps one face his or her fears in a more realistic manner. This treatment also helps one to understand what panic attacks are and that how to deal with them. It is more of informational.
Another form of treatment is exposure therapy. This kind of treatment is used to induce certain physical sensations that can trigger panic attacks. It teaches you healthier ways of coping with attacks and one acquires great control over panic. Medication is also another way of dealing with panic attacks. Certain anti-depressants are used though they tend to take a long time to react to the attacks. In this case, such medicine should be taken continuously for a long period of time for them to be effective.